10497946_876609592353825_1937506217078596531_o What are you doing this summer?  Want to participate in the hottest camp around? Teachers Write is a virtual camp for teachers to create, develop and share writing with published authors who donate their time to mentor, encourage and provide feedback to teachers . As founder Kate Messner describes it, “Teachers Write is a community of teachers and librarians who believe that people teaching writing should walk the walk.”

I’ve become more and more convinced that teachers of writing should be teachers who write.  That’s not to say we all need a goal to be a published author, but that we experience the highs and lows, the joys and the struggles of the writing process we are teaching our students. I first blogged (Teacher of Writing or Writing Teacher) about this in March after #Engchat on Twitter with Kelly Gallagher, Penny Kittle and Georgia Heard.  I was struck by a quote from Donald Graves…

“You can’t call yourself a writing teacher if you are not writing yourself. “

That became a call to action for me.  I needed to “Be the change I wished to see in the world.” (Gandhi)  I had already been journaling daily and blogging weekly, but I started trying out some of the assignments that kids were being asked to do, and not finding them easy!  I had a great deal more empathy for those novice writers and could better anticipate the supports that they may need to find success.  I could appreciate the commitment and stamina it took to stay with a piece of writing that you didn’t feel invested in.  One of the biggest perks that I hadn’t anticipated, was an even deeper appreciation for the books I was reading.  The turn of a phrase, the imagery, the word choice, or structure of a book suddenly tasted sweeter!

It also gave me the courage to try my hand at some professional writing.  I’ve immersed myself in reading, research and reflection on my teaching/coaching to help me compose some ideas around the teaching of writing.  I have made a commitment to this project for the summer that will be shared with precious little else (my family, #Teachers Write and my #BookaDay challenge!).

If you are looking for a challenge this summer to take your thinking and teaching to a whole new level, I would strongly encourage you to sign up for Teachers Write and visit Kate Messner’s webpage to get started.  You’ve only missed a few days as it runs July 7-August 15.  You can follow Kate on Twitter @KateMessner as well as fellow authors and mentors Gae Polisner @GaePo, Jo Knowles @JoKnowles, Jen Vincent @mentor texts.  There will also be guest authors throughout the ‘camp’ so you definitely do not want to miss out!

Kate asks that you support these authors by buying or checking out their books this summer.  It’s also a great way to appreciate the thinking of these mentors when you are familiar with their work!   So do yourself a favor this summer and join one of the BEST summer camps going!  You don’t have to post your work, but if you do you will receive encouragement and support from some of the best in the business!!



What’s on My Book Radar?

I just finished these two books for my #BookaDay Challenge and I am ready to dive into some #TeachersWrite author books.

18635089 18405537

Nothing like a bit of fantasy during those summer evenings reading on the deck or hammock.  These were amazingly quick reads as I was sucked right into the engaging plots.  Time travel in SLB and legends and lore in TNG!  LOVED them both!


Now I need to check out the #Teachers Write guest author’s books!

YAY Books!  YAY Authors!!

9781416995005 9780763664558 9781250019332 9780375854118


Happy Reading!

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